I read with interest that Martin Jennings has been commissioned to produce a sculpture for the Women of Steel, for Sheffield.
Martin is an interesting choice and will bring a wonderful energy to the project and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished piece. I particularly like his John Betjeman sculpture in St Pancras, London, a fabulous creation that captures the spirit of Betjeman perfectly.
But I am mystified why Sheffield has gone for an outsider. There are many skilled and innovative sculptors/artists in Sheffield. Wouldn’t this be a perfect occasion to showcase one of our own home-grown talents, instead of seeking out an already established and successful sculptor from Oxford?
I may be missing something here, but if you ask me it’s Sheffield that’s missing an opportunity.
Martin has a terrific catalogue of work to his name, and I’m sure he’s not short of a bob or two, whereas local sculptors may find it difficult in these dark, austere times to capture one of these prestigious commissions. I know the reasons behind finding a ‘celebrity’ sculptor are important when chasing funds, but the real message behind this isn’t who made the piece so much as what it represents.
I am sure whatever Martin comes up with will reflect what the council, the community and the Women of Steel themselves desire and become a much loved memorial, but I can’t help thinking a local sculptor, or an emerging one, could have done the same.
What wonderful news that Martin Jennings is taking on the job of giving the women of steel a proper memorial for their hard work to help our lads who were fighting and getting killed to save England from oppression. I am 94 years old and I hope I live long enough to see this happen. These great ladies worked 12 hours a day for a pittance but we weren’t afraid of hard work or feared working with heavy machinery. Unfortunately many of these ladies have passed on, God bless them.
Elizabeth Newsham, S5